Apple unearths 15th-century ruins constructing Madrid flagship store

“Spanish news site El País reports that what remains of a 15th century hospital wall have been uncovered in what will become the basement of Apple’s new flagship store in Madrid, expected to open by the end of the year,” Ben Lovejoy reports for 9to5Mac. “The 6000-square metre store will be Apple’s 11th store in Spain, and its fourth in the capital, Madrid.”

The technology giant’s renovation of the building located at number 1, Puerta del Sol — formerly the Paris Hotel — led to the discovery of the outer walls of the Buen Suceso hospital, next to the church of the same name. Both buildings were demolished in 1854 to make room for the square. The remains of the church were initially discovered during the construction of the new Sol Metro and Cercanías light rail station in June 2009, halting the project for 10 months. The ruins were subsequently preserved in the mezzanine of the station, sheltered behind glass partitions.

Lovejoy reports, “The permit to develop the site was issued in the knowledge that further ruins might be discovered.”

See the photo in the full article here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “dslarsen” for the heads up.]


  1. very cool. this store will definitely have ghosts bothering customers in the restroom and the morning crew will arrive to see all the laptops flipped backwards with the holy bible set as homepage

    1. Would you say the same thing about the contractor that callously demolished an ancient and irreplaceable Peruvian pyramid recently? We have much to learn from history, if we stop to understand, rather than wantonly destroy.

      1. Not comparable. The partial remains of a wall from a few hundred years ago are relatively trivial. Europe is full of standing buildings in good condition than are older than this.

  2. Walking through the beautiful Medieval city of Bologna, Italy, I was fascinated to see the city’s main library and largest department store were built atop ancient Roman ruins. The builders did something wonderful: they revealed the ruins (and ongoing excavation below) by building glass (or plexiglass) flooring overhead. This way, people could enjoy the new buildings while viewing (and preserving) the priceless antiquity below.

    I would not be surprised if Apple, famous for its glass stairs and floors in some of the company’s wonderful retail stores, does something similar.

    NOTE: As I wrote this, it struck me that if you were a construction worker or archeologist working on the excavation of the ruins beneath the glass floor above, could enjoy a unique view of women walking above. We’re talking about Italy, after all.

    I’m just sayin.’

  3. Hey Karin,

    Can we meet at 6:30 pm? I am just wrapping things up for tonight. It gives us an hour to talk about whatever… 🙂

    Carlos Alberto Leon-Bocanegra Jr.

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